BY JAY PARR-PEARSON – FAN FUEL BLOGGER
Since NHL Trade Deadline Day seems to be a time where NHL general managers will overpay for an asset, the Edmonton Oilers need to capitalize on their kindness.
By now, Steve Tambellini should have a good sense of what the club has in terms of quality NHL roster players as well as what’s available in the near future down in the minors. Here are four issues that will need to be addressed before 3 pm ET on February 27.
No matter what deals Tambellini makes, he needs to bring in players and not be focused on the draft pick or prospects in return. He must now start adding roster players to fill the holes in the line up. Tambellini needs a line to provide that secondary scoring as well as a puck-moving, minute-crunching defenceman. He may have no choice in moving a UFA like Ales Hemsky to take the best return regardless of the draft picks or players.
2. The Goaltending situation
Before the NHL Trade Deadline, Tambellini needs to find out if Devan Dubnyk is a potential No. 1 or just an average back up. He has a solid veteran in Khabibulin, but in the very near future the Oilers will need to replace him as a starter. With Dubnyk putting together another inconsistent season and having pucks leak through him, the writing may be on the wall. If he isn’t moved at the deadline, the Oilers will need to address the crease in the offseason.
3. Prospects or Suspects?
The Oilers will need to move along without some of the players in the system in Oklahoma City and currently in Edmonton. These players have not met their potential and the development curve has flattened. A player like Linus Omark, despite the offensive savvy, is a player with limited potential. Then there is Sam Gagner, who is now a fourth year pro in the middle of his worst season.
4. Who will be in charge?
If Steve Tambellini isn’t going to be here in the offseason he can’t control the Oilers at the NHL Trade Deadline. Kevin Lowe will have to take charge because you can’t have a general manager calling the shots if he won’t be here to see them through.
Whatever the case there will be interesting times in Edmonton leading up to the deadline and after.
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